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Is AT-9 More Resistant to Rain Fade than Phase III?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by paulman182, Sep 10, 2006.

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  1. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

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    I intend to wait for deals on the HR20 and Slimline dish before adding HD, but if the AT9 keeps its signal longer in heavy rain than the Phase III, I may go ahead and get the HD receiver with no DVR so I can get the bigger dish.

    HD wouldn't be bad to have, either!

    I apologize if this has been asked before.

    Any opinions?
     
  2. Cap'n Preshoot

    Cap'n Preshoot Godfather

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    I have not been favorably impressed with the AT9. In spite of its larger size, for rain fade it is no better than, and in my opinion worse than, individual small 18" dishes. I have also not been impressed with the PQ on the new MPEG-4 compressed locals. Watching the Dallas/Jacksonville game today on FOX, the PQ from the $29 Rat Shack OTA antenna is nothing short of magnificent. On the MPEG-4 Fox feed from the AT9 dish the compression algorithm cannot seem to resolve the blades of grass on the field. If that's what MPEG-4 HD is going to look like, count me out.
     
  3. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    Mill Creek, WA
    Supposedly the WNC Ka/Ku AT9 dishes are slightly better than the CalAmp or Andrews dishes. But in general I doubt that you'll see much difference. Any time you try to pickup multiple satellites with one dish the geometry becomes a compromise. Of course, newer LNBs have some amazing specs, and that can help some. So it's probably about a wash.
     
  4. Cap'n Preshoot

    Cap'n Preshoot Godfather

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    Rain Fade issues notwithstanding, the PQ on the MPEG-4 locals stinks.
     
  5. JLove336

    JLove336 AllStar

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    Sep 7, 2006
    Will [can] that poor PQ be resolved anytime soon?
     
  6. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    Cap'n,
    This might be unique to your MPEG4 locals. My HD MPEG4 locals in Seattle look the same when I compare my HR10-250 OTA reception with my HR20's MPEG4 DirecTV video.
     
  7. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

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    I have heard that the locals in more than one market do not look good once DTV MPEG4 gets ahold of them, but that is beyond my control as OTA reception would require a hilltop antenna with 1500 feet of lead-in at my location.

    Thanks for the info on the AT-9. Probably not worth going for it just for a stronger signal.
     
  8. Cap'n Preshoot

    Cap'n Preshoot Godfather

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    What size screen are you watching on?

    You're also comparing MPEG-4 from one receiver with OTA from another receiver. Given the vagaries between dissimilar receiver models, that's not a level playing field.

    The comparison needs to be made using the same receiver and switching from satellite (AT9) to a UHF OTA antenna. - in other words, comparing compressed to non-compressed signals with all other things being the same.

    Looking at the Dal/Jax game from FOX on MPEG-4 with a wide shot of both teams lined up on the ball where you could see 15 yds on either side of the teams & camera not moving the adjacent 5-yd strips of grass were alternately "checkerboarding" at approx 1/2 sec intervals, constantly switching resolution back & forth. Not noticeably until it was pointed out. My wife did not notice until I pointed it out to her, thereafter it drove her nuts. Looking at the same shot coming from the UHF OTA antenna these "artifacts" were not there.

    It was "much better" (but still there if you knew what to look for) on the Colts/Giants game on NBC.

    FOX I think was using 720-P compared to NBC running 1080-I which also may have contributed. Regardless, if D* expects the video purists among us to buy-in to MPEG-4, it's going to have to be a darn site better than what I saw yesterday.
     
  9. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    40" Sony KV40XBR800 HDTV.

    Unfortunately I cannot yet compare OTA HDTV and MPEG4 HDTV on my HR20 DVR until its OTA tuners are activated. But I can compare MPEG2 HDTV DirecTV channels, such as HDNet, between the two receivers and the HR20 does produce slightly better video than my HR10-250 DVR, both connected via component video to the TV.

    My point, though, is that DirecTV is still somewhat at the mercy of the local HDTV video quality provided to them by the local broadcasters, just like their standard definition feeds. And the quality of those feeds may vary considerably from one city to the next. So I think it's premature to judge ALL MPEG4 HDTV channels as categorically inferior.
     
  10. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

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    Bainbridge...
    Comparing the same locals as litzdog911 receives, I really can't tell the difference between OTA and MPEG4 DTV with my H20 and Vizio P42 plasma set. Maybe the Seattle locals and DTV did something right here (altough I wished we received more than just CBS and NBC).
     
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